The materials and mechanisms of a wind turbine, exposed to winds and bad weather, are subject to solid physical constraints. Parts eventually wear out and become brittle, reducing machine performance and safety.

According to the Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), the lifespan of a wind turbine is estimated at 25 years. Beyond that, the technical reliability and efficiency of wind turbines start deteriorating.

In an individual wind turbine owned by an individual (generally smaller in size), the lifespan can differ from 20 to 30 years, depending on the manufacturer.

Factors affecting the life of Wind Turbine

Though ADEME has given a wind turbine lifespan of 20 to 30 years, this duration may vary depending on certain factors. These factors may cause faster wear of components or ancillary installation elements, such as the inverter, batteries, the meter, or electric cables.

Due to sea air, vibrations, frost, or even lightning, Corrosion can cause the structure to wear more quickly. The common factors affecting the life of wind turbines are:

1. Fire

Fire can cause a total loss of wind turbines when a unit is completely consumed and cannot be repaired.

Wind turbine on fire at the Groß Eilstorf wind farm (source)

2. Extreme weather conditions

In some circumstances, the weather is responsible for problems – sometimes, the strong winds are too much for the machine to withstand. Brake failures and upturned blades make things even worse.

3. Problems with the paddles

The leading causes of problems with the blades are lightning, damage from collision with objects, poor design, poor material. Accumulation of insects, oil, and ice on the edges also reduces efficiency by up to 40% less.

4. Bearing Problems – The Achilles Heel of Turbines

No matter the turbine model, bearings are always an issue in all of them. The main reason for bearing failures is the peeling of the surface visible to the naked eye.

5. Miscellaneous factors

  • Failure to comply with recommended maintenance practices in lubrication procedures, collector systems, etc.
  • Bearing mechanical or electrical failures, rotor failures, cooling system failures leading to excess heat and, in turn, fire.
  • Misalignment or other improper installation, excessive vibration, voltage irregularities, converter failure, improper grounding, and excessive speed (which leads to bearing problems).
  • Manufacturing problems include loose components, inadequate electrical insulation, rotor failures, other sections inside the machine that complicate service, etc.
Corrosion on wind turbine (source)

Ways to extend the life of wind Turbine

We can extend the life cycle of wind turbines to 30 years with timely and proper maintenance. Proper repairs are also essential for generator reliability and longevity.

The other ways to extend the lifespan of your wind turbine are briefed below. These precautions are essential for your wind turbine’s safe and efficient use.

1. Protect the wind turbine from lousy weather

It may seem paradoxical, but the wind is not always the friend of the wind turbine. Too strong winds affect its proper functioning and can even seriously damage the installation or cause a breakdown.

If a storm is a forecast, plan to orient the blades to limit the gusts’ impact or block the edges using a mechanical brake system. If not, have time to act beforehand; checking the apparatus before restarting is preferable.

2. Monitor the weak signs

The slightest sign of weakness (suspicious noise) should alarm you and prompt you to do a thorough check. Even the slightest sign of weakness could cause cascading problems to other parts of the wind turbine. At the modest defect, repairs and changes of components are necessary.

3. Life extension

The manufacturer of wind turbines has developed an alternative scheme to certify the longer utility life of wind turbines. It consists of analyzing the turbine before it is 20 years old and changing the necessary components to function for a few more years.

4. Boost wind turbine performance through structural monitoring

To track performance problems and malfunctions of a wind turbine requires monitoring and one solution is to use a digital twin. Digital twins have essentially computerized companions to their physical counterparts.

In wind turbines, a digital program reflects what its physical twin does as it operates and generates power. It captures all data from operating turbines, analyzes it, and provides real-time information based on data it receives.

The monitoring system helps identify underlying problems that we may not have identified previously. The types of issues detected can include performance, turbine health, and identification of the remaining useful life of an asset.

Best 3 Home Wind Turbines of 2021 based on life span

Wind Turbines can be the perfect solution to reduce energy costs or even wholly disconnect from the grid.

The decision to buy one will depend on many important factors: the rules surrounding wind turbines in your city or neighborhood, your energy needs, and your budget.

Here we have rounded up the best wind turbines so that you can choose the right one for your needs.

1. ECO-Worthy Wind Turbine

The Eco-Worthy has been designed with a particular goal in mind: to ensure the production of renewable energy in your home with the highest possible efficiency.

This wind turbine succeeds precisely in its intent, starting with the output power it can offer.

You will have 400 W at your disposal, ideal for powering your devices.

If you choose it together with the photovoltaic panel, the ECO-Worthy wind turbine can produce 500 W or 700 W of power by combining solar and wind energy.

The blade is light, with a three-prop turbine without a support bracket.

Specification: 

Power400 W, 500 W, and 700 W
Number of Blades3
Hybrid controller20A PWM
Power generation2.4 KWH
Solar panelProtected with aluminum frame
Battery system12 V
SpecialtyWeatherproof
Extension cable length29.5 ft
Solar cable16 ft
Price289 $
Size58.3×26.3×1.4 inches
ManufacturerEco Worthy
Weight8 kg
Life span20 years

ProsCons
Best domestic wind blade of 2021 Price a bit high compared to other competitors
Good nominal wind speed of approximately 10.5 m/s Battery not included in the package
Can reach 500 or 700 W total if chosen in a kit together with the solar panel
Very light blade equipped with three propellers without a support bracket
Made with weatherproof material
Ideal for powering any of your devices

2. iSTA Breeze i-500 Plus Wind Turbine

iSTA Breeze i-500 Plus is a domestic wind blade characterized by an aesthetic appearance.

With this generator, you will have enough energy to power your favorite devices. A more remarkable value can produce up to 500 W of maximum power in the output.

The power supply is given by a 12 V or 24 V alternating current generator, depending on the version you choose.

The iSTA Breeze wind blade is resistant and dissipates heat very well with a quality material such as aluminum. The structure with a vertical bracket is straightforward to install and versatile in use.

Specification:

Power500 W
Weight4.5kg
Maximum power450 Watt
Power typeAC GENERATOR permanent magnet, neodymium
Sound level40 dB
Blade length50 cm
SpecialtyWeatherproof
ManufacturerAltinelenerji LTD.
Battery IncludedNo
Price219$
Life span20-25 years
ProsCons
Mini wind generator with an excellent aesthetic style

 

Excellent power, which reaches a maximum of 500 W

The efficient charging system, compatible with 12 V or 24 V battery

Made of aluminum, to ensure good heat dissipation and dispersion

The excellent structure offered, protected from dust and bad weather.

Simple installation to carry out even for those who are not in the sector

Can struggle if the wind is not strong enough

 

Have to buy the battery separately

3. BuoQua Wind Turbine

BuoQua is a wind generator that allows you to produce renewable energy, clean for you and the environment, to power your favorite devices.

It has a simple structure without a vertical bracket, so it is versatile and efficient to place on any surface.

There is a small fixing base that you can anchor to allow correct operation, for example, on your terrace.

The result will be a satisfactory production of energy, which will guarantee you 400 W of output power.

Specification:

Power400 W
Number of blades3
Rotor diameter1.2m
Battery12 V/24V
Controller20A Hybrid Charge Controller
Start-up wind speed2.5 m/s
SpecialtyWeatherproof
ManufacturerBuoQua
Battery IncludedNo
Price300$
Life span20 years
ProsCons
Wind generator for a domestic system, elementary installation procedure

 

Excellent deliverable power, which can reach 400 W

Good nominal wind speed, around 10.5 m/s

Possibility of integration with a solar panel for even better efficiency

Very functional even with little wind

It does not require a vertical bracket for more versatile positioning.

The price is well compared to the quality offered

Not excellent materials according to some customers

 

Maximum rotation speed below average

Conclusion 

Wind Turbines can be an excellent choice to generate electricity from the wind. There are numerous wind turbines available in the market to install on your residential property.

Wind Turbines are your best alternative to save your electricity bills as well.

Ankur Pradhan holds a bachelor’s degree in education and health and three years of content writing experience. Addicted to online creative writing, she puts some of what she feels inside her stormy heart on paper. She loves nature, so she is trying to motivate people to switch to alternative energy sources through her articles.